Did you support water boarding?
No, but I think water boarding is like tickling compared to the other stuff we outsourced, and I'm not convinced that practice stopped.
Was our invasion of Iraq moral ?
I think it was the most immoral act the US has committed in my lifetime.
If Cheney had led the assasination of Bin Laden, you would be cheering.
No I wouldn't. You are just assuming I'm pro-Republican because I criticize Obama and this is something about American politics that drives me insane (happens all the time on these boards, I see people do this very thing all the time).
Do you not agree that we have seriously weakened the ability of Al Queda (sp?) in the last 3 years?
Not really, they had little to no "ability" 3 years ago and I think their relevance is decreasing largely due to things outside of our control (like the so-called "Arab Spring") or things that had already been put into motion (e.g. the financial attack on Al Qaeda immediately after 9/11 was much more important than all the military actions against it since when it comes to weakening their capacity).
But I think that's the wrong question to begin with. I think the things the US does to fight Al Qaeda cause a greater increase of risk to Americans. A study whose name and author currently eludes me (and I'm travelling on vacation so I can't look for it on my desktop) about bomb manufacturers showed that killing bomb makers often just increased the attacks. Not just because the assassinations motivate people to become your enemy but because the new blood often worked harder than the people they were replacing, who had fallen into a rut of greater complacency.
The single greatest factor that influences the likelihood of these attacks are the supply of candidates and we can't kill them all. Others will replace them. So even if we dismantle Al Qaeda entirely we are making generations of enemies in Pakistan and Afghanistan while we do it and ensuring a steady supply of extremists. The Arab spring is replete with examples of tyrants we supported who acted against the will of the people and their tyranny motivates anti-Americanism when we suppor them and enable their reign. We can't keep playing that game, even if the cause is "anti terrorism" (we were cooperating with Gaddafi on this, for example). In Pakistan the government lies to their people about the permissions the US has to bomb people in their territory etc. They are incensed with the drone strikes in their territory, the CIA operatives who killed people in their streets (including at least one man who was killed when other CIA agents ran over them on their way to extract the killer) and then paid blood money to get them out of jail. Americans would not put up with another country doing that here, and it's foolish to expect this to go over well with others and not expect them to ever have the idea that they should try to bring some of the bloodshed to American territory.
So I don't really think that there's a military solution to this problem. I think terrorism is a problem on police scale, not military scale, and that military solutions rarely work well for it anyway. What has historically worked well was to work towards eliminating the conditions that generate the terrorism. Just like crime, sociological factors are a much greater influence than the way you fight it.
I think the way Obama has prosecuted the war on terror was to largely just keep the status quo, and the status quo on things that I believe are partial root causes for the terrorism in the first place (namely the whole us killing other peoples thing). You can't kill hundreds of thousands of people, and displace millions without making enemies. For whatever America's stated reasons, America has been killing and harming a lot of people and no, I don't think that the parts of that foreign policy that are justified to the public as part of a winning war on terror are making America any safer. We've spilled an awful lot of Afghan blood just to get to those handful of Al Qaeda interlopers in their midst and I don't think it made Americans any safer.
The terrorists are not attacking for no reason, and they don't hate America for the stupid, self-serving reason Americans have been fed: "they hate our freedom." No, they hate our meddling in their countries. They hate our bombings of their weddings (even if accidental we have killed tens of thousands of civilians while prosecuting the "war on terror"), they hate that we support corrupt governments that are in our pockets and against the will of the people they are actually supposed to represent. They hate that we keep the status quo in the middle east (pretty much every nation on earth agrees on what to do there, and America enables Israel to avoid it while building "facts on the ground" and systemically settling disputed territory). They hate their limited economic opportunities and stagnant, corrupt political systems. We are still corrupting governments like Pakistan. Yes, corrupting. We buy it off through military aid, and get them to cut secret deals to infringe on Pakistani sovereignty while lying to the people about it. That would be like a Manchurian candidate scenario to Americans if it were another country subverting their leaders this way.
In Afghanistan we spend much
more than the GDP of their country on the war. In fact I bet there were single days in the war where more money was spend bombing them in a single day than their yearly GDP. When we leave (soon) it will not be much different, because the underlying situation has not changed. I posit that spending the equivalent of the GDP of a nation to bomb it is not the best way to reduce the threat America faces and that it is just part of a vicious cycle that seeks to treat symptoms with great, and incredibly harmful, extravagance.